The folks over at the Willows sent out an email yesterday for calls for submissions for an upcoming archaeology issue. I thought I would share! (And should mention that my short story “Dr. Adderson’s Lens” will be in one of the upcoming issues, too!)

“Throw those chisels in the motor-car, gentlemen…we’re off to Mesopotamia!”

In February 2009, The Willows will be publishing a special Archaeology Issue, full of tales related to one of our great passions: the early histories of civilized humanity. To date, we have secured two featured tales for the issue, from Steven Shrewsbury and G. D. Falksen. And if you can conjure a thrilling, ghostly image of civilized antiquity, your work could join theirs! And Mesopotamia, though ever-popular in archaeological tales, is not the limit. Weave us an historically accurate ghost story, in 5500 words or less, of vanished Knossos, or of the strange Mississippian culture, or of Copper Age Ireland… so long as your vision is one of pre-Hellenic civilized history viewed through the lens of the Victorian or Edwardian culture.

We are also looking for a cornucopia of original artwork and poetry to accompany these tales, as always!

No Steampunk this issue, please.  Take care to eliminate all post-Great War style language and jargon, televisions and other things nonexistent previous to WWI.  And yes, historically accurate means historically accurate; Google and Wikipedia are free for everyone.  Enough said.

Good luck to all, and feel free to spread the word!


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Paul Jessups Stories Like a Stone in Her Heart

Paul Jessup's "Stories Like a Stone in Her Heart"

I’m a big fan of Creative Commons, and the “free” media movement.

And I’m a big fan of Paul Jessup.

So, what I’m saying is: hunker on over to his website and become part of his great experiment with his short story “Stories Like a Stone in Her Heart”–you can pay or not pay (but please, pay!). Looks like it’s down for now, but I still hold by the following.

I was lucky enough to read an early draft of this very story, and can vouch for it. It’s intense, intelligent, and really gets to the core of the power behind the art and craft of storytelling. Blending his impressive ability to mold language with Native American myth and magic, it’s certainly a tale that stays with you.

After a series of rejections, I checked my email late yesterday to find that a story of mine had, in fact, been accepted for publication. I’ve got to say, that is one good feeling. 🙂

I fixed it up and sent it back, and now… well, I’ll let you know when and where you can see it as soon as I can. It’s the steampunk/zombie mashup that I did called “Dr. Adderson’s Lens.” I was proud of it! And now even more so.

After getting two rejections on short stories in just about two days (okay, three maybe now that I think about it–I’ve been under the weather) and twittering a bit back and forth with Paul Jessup, the concept of rejection is certainly on the brain.

What’s my reaction? Well, I’ve had rejections before. Used to that. Doesn’t make me happy to get rejections–I mean, who would, right? But it does make me mad, in a way. In a good way, I think. It gets my gritty determination going, my resolve. Makes me want to write more, and better, and cooler, and weirder…

And that’s good.

Michael linked a great interview with Ira Glass talking about storytelling, and how you get better–and how, many people, when they’re still in the growing stages, give up on their work because of a few rejections. They never move past the crappy/mediocre into something great. I highly recommend you watch.

It’s not easy for anyone to get published, not even seasoned writers (unless you’re from a select few who are Untouchables in the industry). Thing is, you have to keep at it. Or you don’t. Either you decide that you’re in it, or you’re not. For some, there’s a breaking point. For others, there isn’t. You just keep moving along in the hopes that somewhere along the way your little baby of a story will resonate with the right editor for the right issue for the right publication.

Anyway, polishing up a new one, contemplating homes for it. Then back at it again.